On Monday President Klaus Iohannis appointed lieutenant general Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca as the new Chief of Staff, as of January 1st, 2015. It is the first major replacement that Klaus Iohannis operates in the national defense and security field since he took the President office.
47-year-old Nicoale Ciuca was Chief of the Romanian Land Forces Staff and was commandant of “Red Scorpions” 26 Infantry Battalion during 2001 and 2004. Red Scorpions battalion took part in the Enduring Freedom I mission in Afghanistan (2002-2003) and in Antica Babilonia mission in Iraq (2004). Ciuca was one of the officers who has been aggrandized during his missions in the theaters of operations, being also the only Romanian general who personally led a combat mission on May 14-15, 2004- the battle for Euphrates bridge in Iraq.
Nassiria battle, also fought in Iraq in May 2004, was the first battle when the Romanian soldiers have been active fighters after the WWII.